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Tone Hansen, director of the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, and Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen. Photo: Thomas Brun, NTB Production.
Tone Hansen, director of the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, and Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen. Photo: Thomas Brun, NTB Production.

Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Norway Announces $100,000 Artist Prize

The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Høvikodden, Norway, has established a biannual $100,000 artist prize. The winner of the inaugural Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award will be announced this fall and will have a corresponding exhibition at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in 2020. The prize also includes funds for a catalogue, public programming, and the possible acquisition of the work for the center’s permanent collection, and is intended for midcareer, international artists working in sculpture and painting, though the award “will remain rooted in Norway.”

Michelle Kuo, curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; María Inés Rodríguez, editor of Tropical Papers and curator at large at the São Paulo Museum of Art; Elvira Dyangani Ose, director of Showroom in London; Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen, founder of Wilstar Social Impact; Caroline Ugelstad, curator at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter; and Tone Hansen, director of the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, will serve on the jury for its first iteration.

“We are proud to announce a strong, all-female international jury,” said Hansen. “They represent varied, in-depth knowledge in the field of sculpture and painting and are some of the most qualified professionals from different continents.”

The prize is the result of a partnership between the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and Arne Wilhelmsen and his family, who have committed to sixteen editions of the award in honor of Wilhelmsen’s late wife, Lise (1936–2019). The Arne Wilhelmsen family, of the industrial investment company Anders Wilhelmsen & Co, has worked closely with the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter since it was founded as a private foundation by Sonja Henie and Niels Onstad in 1968.

On behalf of the Arne Wilhelmsen family, Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen said: “It is important for us to create a program that is in keeping with Lise Wilhelmsen's appreciation and support of mid-career artists with an international standing. There are many art prizes for young, up-and-coming artists today, but we want to recognize artists who have been working for some time. The award is based on Lise Wilhelmsen's wish for future generations to benefit from her many years of commitment to painting and sculpture.”